As predictably as Donald Trump praising Hitler, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is back again to compare COVID-19 vaccinations to the Holocaust and Nazi medical experiments. It’s been just over two weeks since Greene reluctantly issued an apologyish statement and paid a perfunctory visit to the Holocaust Museum to show her regret over comparing being vaccinated against a deadly disease with being rounded up along with your whole family; being tortured, humiliated, and starved; then executed in any one of several horrendous ways.
So, naturally, Greene has done it again. As The Washington Post reports, Greene used a speech on Tuesday to call federal health officials “medical brown shirts.” She then went on to complain that the COVID-19 vaccines were just “a political tool used to control people.”
When Greene first made such remarks, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy pretended to be outraged, and said that Greene’s statements comparing “the horrors of the Holocaust” with attempting to prevent COVID-19 were “appalling." That came weeks after McCarthy was forced to admit to Greene’s use of antisemitic conspiracy theories, including claims about “Jewish space lasers” being used to start forest fires in California.
Don’t expect any such reaction from McCarthy this time. The GOP has moved on from bring embarrassed by racism, antisemitism, or having their leadership praise Nazis. Two months ago, the racist rantings of Marjorie Taylor Greene placed her at the edge of the party. Now she’s the core.
Racism and xenophobia have never been far from the GOP’s heart, and they’ve been the party’s defining principle ever since Donald Trump descended his golden escalator to talk about Mexican “rapists” who were bringing drugs and crime to America. Over the course of his White House occupation, Trump became increasingly comfortable with using the language of white nationalism, and with overtly supporting groups like the Proud Boys and white supremacist militias.
At the same time, the Q-Anon conspiracy grew from a side branch of the already evidence- and sense-free “Pizzagate” to consume much of Trump’s base. That conspiracy not only includes a belief that Democrats are running a underground delivery system for satanic pedophile cannibals, it is steeped in the terms of Nazism and antisemitic pogroms throughout history. The whole basis of both QAnon and Pizzagate is nothing but a variation on the ancient “blood libel” claims that have been used to justify the murder of Jews for centuries.
Now the stars of the GOP aren’t the figures who are those most strident in following the party’s supposed principles, but those who are pushing back the borders of hate. Both Greene and Josh Hawley have been rewarded for deluging Republicans with support for conspiratorial claims and constant pushing of the Big Lie about the 2020 election.
Greene is now explicitly comparing Democrats to Nazis, and comparing President Joe Biden’s efforts to see more Americans vaccinated with medical experiments conducted on Nazi prisoners.
Don’t expect McCarthy to do anything about it. After all, Greene has been touring the nation with Matt Gaetz, whose connections to a genuine underage sex-trafficking ring haven’t merited so much as a slap on the wrist from McCarthy.
Greene, Gaetz, and Hawley aren’t retreating. They’re leading the party … right down the Nazi-loving trail Trump has laid for them.